Åsa Regnér has resigned
Minister for Children, the Elderly and Gender Equality
Archive: Anders Ygeman, Minister for Home Affairs
Government presented measures in response to refugee situation
In early October 2015 the Government presented a number of measures in response to the refugee situation.
The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency is to coordinate at national level the management of the refugee situation by responsible actors
Stronger coordination is required to enable the actors taking part in dealing with the refugee situation – including central government agencies, municipalities, county councils, non-governmental organisations, faith communities and private actors – to work effectively together. The Government has therefore tasked the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency with coordinating the management of the current refugee situation at national level. The Agency is to produce national situation reports, with information on areas in need of measures that have not yet been adequately taken. The Agency is also to identify and report on other circumstances that the Government should know about in order to assess the Government’s need to take action.
The Government is responsible for the overall coordination, priorities and direction of society’s emergency preparedness. The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency’s mandate will not change this. The mandate expires after 31 December 2015.
Financial support granted to the Swedish Red Cross for voluntary efforts to help refugees
The Government will pay out SEK 10 million in support without a requisition to the Swedish Red Cross to strengthen the organisation’s role and civil society’s management of the refugee crisis. The funds are to be used to perform, organise and coordinate humanitarian aid activities for refugees in Sweden. The funds are also aimed in particular at supporting and making use of the voluntary engagement in the refugee crisis, and the Swedish Red Cross is to collaborate with other organisations in carrying this out.
How these funds have been used will be presented to the Government Offices by 2 May 2016.
Health and Social Care Inspectorate to strengthen capacity in permit application processing activities
The sharp rise in the number of unaccompanied minors seeking asylum in Sweden is a major contributing factor to the increasing number of children and young people needing to be placed outside the home. Forecasts from the Swedish Migration Agency indicate that the number of unaccompanied minors seeking asylum will not decline. The Government has therefore tasked the Health and Social Care Inspectorate with strengthening capacity in its activities to ensure that the processing of permits for homes for care or residence takes place as quickly and effectively as possible.
In a referral to the Council on Legislation, the Government will also soon propose the introduction of an additional form of placement known as supported accommodation. Supported accommodation is intended for children and young people between the ages of 16 and 20, and is to be combined with individually adapted support for each person. The intention is that supported accommodation will also require a permit from the Inspectorate.
It should be possible for the new provisions to enter into force in the first quarter of 2016.
Government provides extra funding to the World Food Programme in Syria
The World Food Programme (WFP) has reported major and acute shortfalls in funding to ensure access to food supplies for refugees in Syria and neighbouring countries. Sweden is one of WFP’s largest donors. The Government now intends to grant an additional SEK 25 million to WFP’s Syria response.
In addition to this extra funding to WFP, the Government also intends to grant an extra SEK 25 million to the Central Emergency Response Fund, which can rapidly respond to the increasing needs around the world. The Fund is a particularly effective instrument for funding ‘forgotten’ or chronically underfinanced humanitarian crises.
National Agency for Public Procurement to draw up guidance document on the current refugee situation
According to the Swedish Migration Agency, it has not been possible to complete procurements of asylum accommodation as a result of ongoing court proceedings, despite the fact that there are a large number of empty accommodation places available. The Government notes that from human and socio-economic perspectives, there is a need to offer guidance to central government and municipal agencies, and other relevant actors, on the opportunities procurement legislation provides to quickly meet asylum accommodation needs.
The National Agency for Public Procurement has therefore been tasked with providing information and guidance on legislative provisions that can be brought up in procurements related to asylum seekers. The Agency is to supplement and give tangible form to the European Commission’s communication on public procurement rules in connection with the current refugee crisis that was adopted on 9 September 2015. The Commission states that contracting authorities must consider all possibilities to substantially reduce the timeframes and assess on a case-by-case basis which procedure is to be used in order to find a solution to the crisis.
The report is to be submitted to the Government Offices no later than 1 November 2015.